Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and we are excited to feature a story on love by Onome Akrah. "the heart wants wants it wants"... but biology wouldnt let it happen. Are you a writer? Send your short fiction, poetry, opinion pieces and book reviews to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on the ZODML blog
“Nkem, what are you looking at?” Gloria’s voice brought me back, as I was very lost in my thoughts. I had been sitting at the balcony of our apartment all morning staring into space, wondering why it was so hard to just get what you want out of life without struggling so much.
“I am not looking at anything” I replied
“Then what were you thinking about because you were lost”
“I wasn’t thinking about anything, don’t you have something to do? Go and do your laundries, you are invading my privacy”
“I am done with that, and I even did yours. You can thank me later”
“That’s nice, that’s why I love you” I blew her a kiss.
“I am going to make my hair, see you later and don’t think too much” Gloria said leaving me at the balcony.
Gloria and I shared an apartment; she was my best friend and we shared everything. I didn’t know why I couldn’t tell her what I was thinking about; I guess I was afraid of being judged or maybe I was afraid of hearing the truth. She was always blunt and said things the way they were. I was losing my mind and I needed to talk to someone, I was still thinking about whom to talk to when my phone rang. It was Gbenga; the main reason for my thoughts. I thought of ignoring the call but I needed to hear his voice;
“Hello dear, how are you this morning?”
“I am fine Gbenga and you?”
“I am okay, what are you doing this weekend, do you have any plans?” I wanted to say yes that I had plans but I couldn’t. I really wanted to see him
“Not really, why?”
“I want to take you out, to pamper you a little” I liked the sound of that. Gbenga knew how to make a lady feel special, one of his many qualities.
“Okay…that would be nice”
“Alright, I will pick you up by 12 noon”
“Okay then, see you soon”
I hung up asking myself what I was doing; I allowed my feelings for Gbenga to grow even though I knew we couldn’t be together. He was the perfect definition of the kind of man I wanted to spend my life with. As a little girl, I had a list of the thirty things I wanted my man to possess, Gbenga had twenty-eight, I didn’t care about the remaining two, he was perfect. I looked at the time, it was past 11, Gbenga would soon be here; I hurried to the bedroom to get ready, I wasn’t going to think about the one obstacle stopping us from being together, it hadn’t stopped us from falling in love with each other and it wasn’t going to now, I was going to have fun.
Spending time with Gbenga always made me feel good, he was a great friend and a fantastic lover, he was tall, handsome and he had cute lips, even though he used glasses, they did not stop me from seeing the spark in his eyes every time we were together. Life was beautiful with Gbenga. We could talk for hours without getting bored; he was fun to be with. Our day out was fast coming to an end; I did not want it to end. We sat down for drinks after bowling; I knew we were going to have the talk as always.
“Nkem, we need to talk about us”
“Do we have to again? I am tired of having this conversation over and over again, it doesn’t solve anything.
“So what do we do?” I could see the hurt in his eyes. Gbenga had wanted to marry me, I knew because we talked about it every day and I wanted to as well. He was so close yet I couldn’t have him, why did life have to be so mean.
“I don’t know, I researched on a way out…google has all the answers. I found a way out but it’s expensive, we can’t afford it, not with our jobs”
“I really want to spend the rest of my life with you Nkem” he took my hand “I have never felt this way before towards anybody. I love loving you, I love how I am when I am with you, you make me think of ways to be a better person, and you are the only girl that has ever given me a reason to want to settle down. I can’t even go a day without hearing your voice. I hate this Nkem”
Tears streamed down my cheeks as he said those words, I felt the same way about him. I had been in relationships before but none felt like this. Being with Gbenga was like I was with my soul mate, knowing that we couldn’t be together made me sick to my stomach. We shared the same genotype; “AS”. Our hearts wanted to be together but biology wouldn’t let us, the only way out was Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). A medical procedure used in diagnosis of a genetic disease in early embryos prior to implantation and pregnancy. Simply put; we could go through PGD to avoid having sickle cell babies but it was too expensive.
“It’s not meant to be” I said trying to stop myself from weeping.
“Let’s save towards it Nkem, we can make this work”
“Save towards what Gbenga? I don’t want to have one child, so are we going to keep saving for it, not with the economic situation of this country; it is going to be hard. We should be talking about saving for our wedding and future, not saving for implanting children”
Gbenga was quiet, he knew I made sense. There was no point talking anymore, we couldn’t risk it, we had to think of our unborn children. Gbenga took me home and drove off without saying good bye. I knew he was sad and helpless, I was too. I cried all the way to the room; Gloria was reading a novel on the bed when I got in.
“Do you like my hair?” she asked obviously unaware that I was crying.
“It’s nice” I said trying to take off my shoes.
“You did not even look at it”
I raised my head, revealing my swollen eyes. “I don’t want to love again Gloria” I cried like a baby.
“What’s wrong? I did not even know you were crying, what happened? Did Gbenga hurt you?”
I had to tell her everything, she was shocked that I had kept it from her but she tried to console me and assured me things were going to work out fine. Yea right! I was in no mood for optimism. I was angry at life, I thought of damning all consequences and going for what I wanted. After all the heart wants what it wants. Being with Gbenga what was my heart wanted but I couldn’t have him. They say love conquers all but not in this case; Biology had definitely conquered us.
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